Read — 2012/04/21

by shwolff

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Danes Rethink a Welfare State Ample to a Fault“, by Suzanne Daley (NY Times). One of Europe’s most generous welfare states begins prodding its citizens “into working more or longer or both”. Telling is the following remark from Karen Haekkerup, minister of social affairs and integration: “In the past, people never asked for help unless they needed it…But now people do not have that mentality. They think of these benefits as their rights.” Stigmatizing welfare benefits is a subtle game to play; better perhaps to encourage a more community-oriented mindset among citizens.
  2. $300 Million Scholarship for Study in China Signals a New Focus“, by Keith Bradsher (NY Times). Set to begin in 2016, the Schwarzman Scholars program is to offer 200 all-expenses-paid scholarships each year for 1-year Master’s programs at Tsinghua University.
  3. Two Cheers for Web U!“, by A.J. Jacobs (NY Times). As the spring semester comes to a close, A.J. Jacobs turns the tables and grades his massive online open courses (MOOCs). He highlights student-to-student interaction and assignments as two aspects MOOCs should strive to improve. As a bonus (to the reader), the article gets an A for style and wit.
  4. An Instant Path to an Online Army“, by Randall Stross (NY Times).
  5. Big Data, Trying to Build Better Workers“, by Steve Lohr (NY Times).
  6. Is It Time for Off-the-Shelf Birth-Control Pills?“, by Elisabeth Rosenthal (NY Times).

Happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth II, John Muir, and Max Weber!